Trump reaffirms support for ethanol in industry letter

Trump reaffirms support for ethanol in industry letter
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President Trump reiterated his support for the federal ethanol fuels mandate in a letter to industry supporters on Tuesday. 

Addressing attendees at the National Ethanol Conference, Trump said in a letter that he “value[s] the importance of renewable fuels to America’s economy and to our energy independence.”

He promised to work with the industry’s Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) to “identify and reform” regulations on the industry, which he said “has suffered from overzealous, job-killing regulation.”

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Trump added, “As I emphasized throughout my campaign, renewable fuels are essential to America’s energy strategy.”

Trump supported the Renewable Fuels Standard throughout his campaign, a position he refined during a second-place effort in the Iowa caucuses. 

Despite Trump’s letter, some officials in his administration have signaled support for reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard. 

Trump adviser Carl Icahn, an investor whose holding company owns a major stake in a fuel refiner, is pushing to reform the RFS’s “point of obligation,” which assigns refiners the responsibility of complying with ethanol blending mandates under the law. 

Opponents of new Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt have noted his ties to the oil industry during his time as Oklahoma’s attorney general. But he told senators during a confirmation hearing last month that he would implement the mandate, which Congress updated in 2007.  

Ethanol supporters cheered Trump’s letter on Tuesday. 

In a statement, RFA President Bob Dinneen said the RFS mandate “has cleaned the air, reduced our dependence on foreign oil and boosted local economies.”

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump Right way and wrong way Five things to know about the elephant trophies controversy MORE understands all this,” he said. “Consumers benefit from this national policy and our industry looks forward to continuing to be the lowest cost, highest octane fuel in the world.”